The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma
A familiar result in the economic theory of the family is Becker's rotten-kid theorem. This theorem states that altruism by a family member will lead other selfish members to act efficiently from the family viewpoint. We extend Becker's one-period model to two periods and show that parental altruism can result in an inefficiency known in other contexts as the Samaritan's dilemma. Implications of this for transfer arrangements within the family and for the Ricardian equivalence theorem are drawn.
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- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986.
"The Strategic Bequest Motive,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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